Founder of Erie's Boots on the Ground Indicted on Federal Wire Fraud Charges
The founder of Erie's Boots on the Ground has been federally indicted for stealing at least $7,837.43 from the organization.
Venus Azevedo-Laboda was named in an indictment filed Tuesday for seven counts of wire fraud.
It happened while Azevedo-Laboda maintained accounts for herself and the organization at the same bank from June 2014 to around December 2015, according to the indictment.
Investigators allege she solicited monetary donations primarily in the form of cash and checks then deposited the donations into her own personal bank account.
Azevedo-Laboda on numerous occasions used the debit card for the organization's bank account to pay personal bills, which included FirstEnergy, Time Warner, National Fuel Gas and Erie Water Works, the indictment said.
A summons has been issued for Azevedo-Laboda to appear in federal court for arraignment. Prosecutors are requesting her bond to be set at $10,000 unsecured.
Boots on the Ground assists military veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.